SRINAGAR—Jammu and Kashmir government placed former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti under house detention to prevent her from visiting Mazar-e-Shohda to pay tributes to 1931 martyrs.
Another former chief minister Omar Abdullah defied the restrictions and walked to his Nawa-i-Subh office without security to address the workers.
Martyrs’ Day is observed every year on July 13 in memory of the 22 Kashmiris who fell to the bullets of the police of Maharaja Hari Singh’s regime in 1931, marking the beginning of the uprising against the monarchy in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to Kashmiri historians, there were a couple of incidents that led to the tragedy of July 13, 1931. In the first incident, a Hindu businessman in Udhampur converted to Islam. The government of Maharaja Hari Singh seized his property and gave it to the businessman’s brother.
The businessman, who converted to Islam, lost his case in court, too. The second incident pertained to the government’s order of April 29, 1931, that banned Khutbah or sermons before Friday congregational prayers.
This interference in religion caused huge unrest among people. Consequently, protest against the government became more frequent. The third incident relates to defiling of Punjsura (five chapters from the Quran) inside Jammu Central jail on June 4, 1931, and the fourth incident was about pages of the Quran found in a toilet in Srinagar on June 20, 1931.
BJP-led government has already canceled the Martyrs Day holiday. Instead, Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday has been declared a holiday in Jammu and Kashmir. This year, the government also did not allow the politicians to visit the graveyard and pay homage to 1931 heroes.
“Despite the restrictions placed on JKNC Vice President Omar Abdullah, which denied him security vehicles and ITBP cover, he chose to walk from his home to the Nawai Subh office. His purpose was to address the party workers who had gathered there to pay their heartfelt tributes to the 1931 Martyrs,” National Conference said.
Tagging the Twitter handle of Jammu and Kashmir police, Omar tweeted, “Don’t think that refusing to give me my escort vehicles & ITBP cover will stop me. I’ll walk to where I have to get to & that’s exactly what I’m doing now.”
“Now that I’ve got to the office & will go ahead with my program you will send everything. The fact is @JmuKmrPolice has stopped a lot of my senior colleagues from coming to the @JKNC_ office today by adopting the same tactics of stopping them in their homes. Notable amongst those stopped are Abdul Rahim Rather Sb, Ali Mohammad Sagar Sb, Ali Mohd Dar Sb, and others,” he added.
Peoples Democratic Party president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti too was barred to visit the graveyard.
“I’m under house arrest for wanting to visit Martyr’s graveyard today. This is at a time when GOI has used its tall claims of normalcy in SC to justify an act of betrayal- the illegal abrogation of Article 370. BJPs own heroes Vir Sarvarkar, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Gowalkar & Godse who spread hatred & division can’t be forced on us. For us those who sacrificed their lives for democracy to take root in J&K will always be admired for their act of courage. We won’t allow you to distort our history or forget our heroes. On the occasion of Martyrs Day, I salute their courage for valiantly fighting against despots to the end,” Mehbooba tweeted.